Beyond the Books: 4 Activities to Reinforce Kindness

Do more than talk about kindness. Work in ways to exemplify the trait with others in your life.

This past Monday I shared a picture book list containing my favorite books on the topic of being kind. I picked that particular topic because this upcoming Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. day in the United States.

I have been trying really hard to observe various holidays and provide learning experiences for my children. When I thought about how to present this day to my 4-year-old I felt overwhelmed.

History is painful and complicated and so is the present. It is difficult for me to explain to my 4-year-old why anyone ever thought they could own another human being. It is difficult to explain why one group of people is more likely to be incarcerated than another group of people.

At this point in parenting we need to simplify things, so I spent some time thinking about why this day means to me.

For me, Dr. King represents hope. Hope that someday we can all learn to just be kind to one another. I really want my children to be the kind of people who will just be kind to others without having to think about it.

Next week we are going to be exploring the value of compassion and how our actions can affect others. Here are some ideas to begin exploring all of that with the preschoolers or younger children in your life. 

1 | Random Acts of Kindness Bingo

Little e is currently obsessed with bingo, so I have created a bingo card that we are going to try to complete throughout the next week. Again, she is 4, so we're not making this complicated. I wanted to pick things that she could help do and I also wanted to demonstrate that it doesn't take a huge gesture to be kind.

We're hoping for a blackout!

Are you looking for some ways to celebrate simple acts of kindness? Play some acts of kindness bingo! Standard bingo rules apply.

2 | Kind Words

I love this activity shared by Carla at Preschool Powol Packets. Not only does it provide a great suggestion of another book to help teach kindness, it also is a simple yet effective way to help little ones really understand the power of our words. 

3 | Notes of Kindness

Write down inspiring and kind thoughts on post-it notes and leave them in random places. 

Imagine going grocery shopping with all of your kids. You're tired. They're cranky. You look up and see a note saying something like, "You're doing great." 

How about this scenario. You feel overwhelmed. There aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need to do and you have to wait for a bus to take you home after a long day. Maybe you see a little note that says, "You're enough."

Maybe it's just me, but seeing notes like that would certainly boost my spirits. 

4 | Chain of Kindness

I really love activities that can be seen visually. That visual helps make an abstract concept real.

All throughout the next week we are, as a family, going to do our best to practice being kind and practice recognizing kindness around us. At the end of the day I want little e to see all of the good, so I really love this idea of a chain of kindness on Sugar Spice and Glitter.

I'm imagining that we work on our chain every night for a week and I'm hoping that the chain will be long and full of examples of kindness.

How do you observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day? 

What sort of things are you doing to help the kids in your life learn to be kind?

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